C’s Trade Kemba, 16th Pick To OKC In Salary Dump
Brad Stevens has made the first move of his front office career as the Boston Celtics are sending Kemba Walker, the 16th overall pick in next month's NBA Draft and a 2025 2nd round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford, Moses Brown and a 2023 2nd round pick.
Horford was likely included in the deal simply to make the money work. While Walker is set to make north of $36-million during the 2021-22 season, only part of Horford's $26.5-million is guaranteed for the '21/'22 season. The former-Celtic averaged 14.2ppg/6.7rpg/3.4apg in 28 games with the Thunder before the sides mutually agreed to shut down the 35-year-old for the remainder of the season.
Boston saved about $9-million in salary for next year, and as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston pointed out, Horford's partially guaranteed money should be no issue for the Celtics to move, making the path to acquiring a third star either this off-season or next off-season easier.
Meanwhile, the C's also acquired Brown as part of the deal, an intriguing 7'2" center prospect. Brown averaged 8.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game in 21.4 minutes per game this season and had 19 rebounds in the first half of a game vs. the Celtics in March.
The 21-year-old is also a value play for the Celtics, as he comes to town on just a 2-year/$3.5-million contract.
Walker averaged 19.9ppg/3.9rpg/4.8apg during his two years in Boston, but managed to be on the court for just 99 of a possible 144 regular season games.
The move leaves the Celtics with just two point guards on their roster who played meaningful minutes during the 2020-21 season in Marcus Smart and Payton Pritchard.